After celebrating 20 years of empowering hard-working students to become sought-after employees, Goodwin College kicked off 2020 by announcing that it will become Goodwin University effective immediately.
“Becoming Goodwin University is a natural progression for our institution, our faculty, our staff, our supporters, and most of all, our students,” said Goodwin University President Mark Scheinberg. “Over the past two decades, Goodwin has evolved from a technology training center into a leading nonprofit institution of higher learning that offers certificate programs as well as associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Not only does ‘University’ better reflect our range of offerings, it advances our mission to make a quality, career-focused education more accessible to a greater number of students. It also offers new opportunities for focused research that supports access, workforce, and community issues.”
Over the past 20 years, both the school’s array of programs and its enrollment have continually expanded. In the past decade alone, enrollment has increased nearly 110%.
Three Schools of Goodwin University
As part of the transition to Goodwin University, Goodwin has reorganized its five academic departments under three schools. These schools will be led by current department chairs who have been elevated to deans to better reflect their responsibility for creating partnerships within the institution and community.
Goodwin University will consist of the School of Nursing and Health Professions led by Dean Dr. Paula Dowd; the School of Business Technology and Advanced Manufacturing led by Dean Dr. Cliff Thermer; and the School of Applied Liberal Arts and Social Sciences led by Dean Dr. Diana LaRocco.
“These three schools reflect our key strengths in helping students prepare for in-demand careers in growing economic sectors,” said Goodwin University Provost Dr. Danielle Wilken. “This well-defined structure will break down silos and provide faculty with more opportunities to collaborate on curriculum, course design, and staffing to provide even more robust offerings for more Goodwin students. In addition, the schools recognize the growth that we have experienced and better reflect the depth and breadth of our credentials and content areas.”
An Innovative Approach to Learning
Goodwin University is also one of the world’s first universities to adopt an innovative instructional approach that transforms the way in which faculty teach and students learn. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) recognizes that traditional teaching methods have not kept pace with the fact that university students have become more diverse in terms of age, race, ethnicity, and learning ability. Goodwin University faculty are given rigorous training on this new approach to teaching that doesn’t ask students to conform to traditional, outdated teaching strategies but instead embraces each student as an individualized learner. UDL empowers a more inclusive array of students and educators to be successful and encourages flexibility in the way students access material, engage with it and demonstrate their command of the newly learned knowledge.
In 2019, Goodwin University established the Goodwin University Institute for Learning Innovation (GUILI) to develop and implement transformative learning for students and faculty. Goodwin University is also expanding its UDL model outside the classroom to departments including Admissions and Academic Advising. Goodwin University plans to infuse UDL into Goodwin University magnet schools as well, becoming the first institution with a pre-school through graduate UDL education model.
“Goodwin is a pioneer in the university-wide adoption of UDL in post-secondary education. Our ‘no labels’ approach to UDL is unique because we view it as a method for teaching and learning that benefits everyone,” said Dr. LaRocco who also serves as the Executive Director for GUILI. “Since we began incorporating UDL principles into our curricula in 2016, we’ve had a tremendously positive response from both students and faculty as well as measurable increases in test scores in our pilot programs.”
Partnering to Develop Connecticut’s Workforce
While the Goodwin name and logo will change, its commitment to serving the community of Greater Hartford, the State of Connecticut, and the region’s businesses is unwavering. For two decades, Goodwin University has partnered with state, municipal, and business leaders to fill skills gaps across Connecticut. In 2018 alone, most of Goodwin graduates were employed within six months of graduation and over 90 percent were employed in Connecticut.
In 2003, Goodwin played a pivotal role in solving the state’s nursing shortage by launching its registered nursing program. Since then, more than 2,200 nursing students have graduated from Goodwin, most going on to work for Connecticut hospitals and health systems.
Goodwin University is also focused on addressing the need for skilled manufacturing workers. It will continue to work closely with state officials and business leaders to grow R&D capabilities in Connecticut’s manufacturing sector and prepare students from middle school through college for manufacturing careers — both in the classroom and through practical on-the-job training.
“Manufacturing is vital to our state’s economy. Goodwin University continues to offer valuable job training and learning opportunities to students in Connecticut, helping to bridge the manufacturing skills gap in the state, which boosts employment in the First District,” said Congressman John Larson (CT 1st district).
Goodwin University has also forged a workforce development partnership with the Town of East Hartford and Capital Workforce Partners to provide resources to job seekers and employers through the American Job Center. In 2019, the American Job Center opened a full-service branch on the Goodwin campus to further strengthen Goodwin University’s commitment to the employability of their graduates and the Greater Hartford community.
Goodwin University in the Community
Goodwin University continues to deepen its roots in the community of East Hartford. Its campus is on the site of a former blighted riverside property which it helped to transform into a vibrant educational center. Most recently, Goodwin University began a construction project that will revitalize the area around its South Main Street campus and bring in commercial and retail businesses, services and jobs.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.